I was really looking forward to watching CBS's Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials 2010 last night, as it was supposed to countdown the entire decade's best Super Bowl commercials. As we all know, the Super Bowl's commercials are often as exciting, or even more exciting than the game itself (and this is coming from a person who actually looks forward to preseason football, and, despite living in Baltimore, hasn't missed a New York (football) Giants game in six years...on TV, of course).
However, I was quickly disappointed by the spots chosen--the only early standout being Tide's Talking Stain commercial, which ranked 10th.
What was more disappointing was that the entire broadcast seemed to be a giant commercial. Now, you might be saying, Did you read the name of the show? And I'd say you're right; however, as the show went on, I began to get the distinct feeling that maybe some of these advertisers coughed up some cash to be featured. Now maybe many spots from companies like Budweiser and Pepsi were featured because those companies have aired numerous spots during numerous Super Bowls. But check out my list below and you decide if this "special" might have been a little more advertising and a little less...well, special.
Budweiser: 7 (Superfan twice)--plus 2 sneak peaks
Bud Light: 5
E*Trade: 4 (Baby Burp Up twice)
Pepsi/Pepsi Max: 4 (Cindy Crawford twice)--5 if you include Mount Dew (a Pepsi-Cola product)
Doritos: 3--plus 2 sneak peaks
Careerbuilder: 2--plus 3 sneak peaks
Jim Nantz bad balloon boy reference--1
Needless display of CSI: Miami actress noting 2 commercials she liked, which they just so happened to have shown right before her segment--1
Danica Patricks who should fire her dresser and make-up artist--1
Okay, E*Trade's Dancing Monkey spot is one of my favorite of all time; the Baby series was simple, memorable and effective; and I'd forgotten about Out the Wazoo. And it's brilliant. I also still like the FedEx Cavemen, but where was Sprint's Crime Deterrent Phone? Where was GM's Robot? Where was Terry Tate: Office Linebacker?
Now Budweiser has had some great spots over the years, but maybe we could've dug a little deeper to show more than one, non-Clydesdale commercial. The Bud Light spots were okay, but they weren't among Bud Light's best, and none were even close to Swear Jar. And I remember thinking the first time I saw Pepsi Max's I'm Good spot that it was just trying too hard.
I barely remembered any of the Doritos commercials, possibly because not one featured Ali Landry. And the fact that Doritos had 2 sneak peaks makes me think Frito Lay paid some money to be featured in this special. Ditto for Careerbuilder, who had a very long commercial featured, but truly not one of their best, along with 3 sneak peaks. Which makes me think, did they leave anything for the actual Super Bowl? That's like putting all the funny jokes in the trailer. I'm looking at you WAYANS BROTHERS!
In the end, it's my own fault for getting excited about this. It's really just another ploy to drum up interest in the game from non-football fans, which I will be recording and rewinding to watch the commercials. But next year, how 'bout we make a little effort and find the actual best commercials as opposed to the ones our advertisers told us to air?
And in case you were wondering, watching in Baltimore City, the most paid advertising was for personal care products, meaning advertisers assumed the viewing audience for this show was ill, irregular and messy. I'll be in the men's room.
--George Convery, Copywriter